The Caret

The caret is a practically nonexistent being in the world of punctuation.

The caret is a long-stale relic of the circumflex, the mildly useful overstrike from a time lost. Who needs such a bendy thing these days? The caret has been ritually driven out by more practical alternatives. The youth of this world don’t even know what a caret is. It’s been covered up by its own uselessness to the point that it wouldn’t even know how to describe itself. Upward pointing? Pah. We have arrows for that. Shark fins and mountain ranges? It just can’t beat the real thing. Any merit the caret could have ever had in days past has been dissolved, and the caret can’t expect to stay harbored in its own shadowy waters and not suffocate. The caret is pointless (in spite of the pun). The caret is forgotten.

The caret? The caret is dead.

That’s what some would have you believe, anyway.

The truth? The caret isn’t an silly lifeform made up of organic compounds. It’s not destined to age and decompose - rather, it’s an idea that you and millions of people like you (and unlike you [and sort of like you, you know, maybe they have a similar personality but they’ve never been paralyzed by a panther’s vicious gaze, now have they?]) have breathed life into. No matter how rarely you use it when you text your pals, draft a grocery list, or revise your personal tagline, you may someday use it when you dabble in ASCII art. It doesn’t die unless you (and those other people, remember them?) want it to.

This article is part of a series on punctuation. It’s pretty much all made up. Don’t underestimate the prowess of a panther, though. You’ve been warned.